10 Home Maintenance Miracles You Already Own

Before you make your next shopping list, shop your home for some of these ingenious household supplies. From the garden to the bathtub, these zero-dollar solutions will lighten your work load, not your wallet.

By Sarah Littleton | Published Sep 20, 2016 11:35 PM

Sudsy Solution

DIY Floor Cleaners

Who needs expensive floor cleaners? Skip the store-bought stuff and make your own by adding ½ cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water. Don’t let the scent of vinegar dissuade you from mixing up a batch; a few drops of lemon, eucalyptus, or lavender essential oil can mask the acidic odor. This homemade cleaner will work on almost any floor type, but avoid using it on waxed finishes where it can do damage.

Related: 7 Unusual Tricks for Your Cleanest Floors Ever


Ditch Disposables

DIY Disposable Dusters

The convenience of disposable dusting cloths is undeniable, but consider the money you're spending to throw these one-use wonders in the trash. If you're looking to cut your cleaning costs, an old sweatshirt makes a good zero-dollar substitute for fancy dusters. Dig a worn and ragged crew neck from the back of your closet, cut it into strips, and get cleaning with your washable, reusable stand-ins.

Related: 7 Ways to Declutter Without Throwing Anything Away


Outside the Box

DIY Drawer Organizers

A truly organized home could be yours, with the right storage solution. You can find plenty of pricey organizers in stores, but you'll get just as much clutter-busting power from things you already have on hand. Try separating sweaters or socks with drawer dividers made from cut up cardboard boxes. Or, use an old muffin tin to keep a junk drawer or jewelry collection tidy.

Related: 18 Clever Storage Solutions You Can DIY for Free


Milk the Jug for All It's Worth

DIY Watering Can

Green thumbs can get even greener by adopting this eco-friendly hack. Skip the watering can and go for a repurposed plastic gallon jug instead. Simply drill small holes into the lid, fill the jug with water. You can use the milk-jug watering can all summer long; when winter comes, recycle the jug—and done!

Related: 19 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks


Shoebox Shadowbox

Decorative Wall Shelves

That old shoebox could be the start of a stunning gallery wall. Grab a can of spray paint and a few shoeboxes. Give each box a couple coats of paint. Once dry, use command strips or screws to attach the boxes to the wall. Depending on the sturdiness of the box, you can fill your makeshift shelf with a small vase, picture frames, or other artistic touches.

Related: 18 New Uses for Old Shoeboxes


Wrap It Up

DIY Storage Bin

Corral books, toys, and other odds and ends without spending a dime on organizing bins. Rather than splurge on rubber tubs or plastic bins, rely on a trusty cardboard box. Make it fit into your design scheme by wrapping it in colorful paper or fabric. For an extra special touch, add handles made from a cast-off leather belt or strips of wide ribbon. 

Related: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Beat Clutter


Fresh Scents

DIY Air Freshener

For a sweet-smelling home on the cheap, make your own air freshener from used coffee grounds. Let the coffee grounds dry out, then scoop them into an old sock and bind with string to create a simple sachet. Another way to clear the air without spending money? Spritz cotton balls with perfume or cologne and tuck them into linen closets, dresser drawers or anywhere that could use freshening up.

Related: 14 Home Essentials You Never Need to Buy Again


Instant Wipes

DIY Cleaning Wipes

Copycat cleaning wipes are a simple DIY that anyone can do. Cut a roll of paper towels in half and place one half of the tube in an empty coffee can. Mix ½-cup vinegar, ¼-cup water, ¼-cup rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish soap in a separate bowl. Slowly pour the mixture over the paper towels. Once the towels are fully saturated, remove the inner paper towel tube and begin pulling tissues from the middle of the roll whenever you need quick cleaning power.

Related: 15 Ways to Fake a Clean House


Scrubbing Power

DIY Bathroom Cleaner

The grimiest tub, tile, and grout doesn't doesn't call for toxic cleansers or bleach, if baking soda will do. Mix up a potent cleaner by combining 1 cup of baking soda, ½ cup of grated bar soap, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Pulse the ingredients in the food processor until it's ground to a fine powder. Add the mixture to a mason jar with a shaker lid and pour it on virtually every bathroom surface for a sparkling clean finish.

Related: How To: Get Your Bathroom Guest-Ready in 20 Minutes or Less


Get the Squeak Out

Vaseline to Fix a Squeaky Door

A dab of Vaseline can cure cracked lips, protect cuts and burns—and get the squeak out of a door. Grab a jar of the stuff from your bathroom medicine cabinet and slather it on the hinges of the offending door. Then look forward to the sounds of silence.

Related: 9 Home Repair Remedies to Borrow from the Medicine Cabinet


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